I use MELPA already, this question is about the actual mechanics of installing a package. My current process is:

  1. M-x package-list-packages
  2. C-s name-of-package
  3. C-s enough times to be on the actual name of the package, not just another instance of that word.
  4. RET (this opens the package details in another buffer, so...)
  5. C-x o Switch to the other buffer
  6. down down C-e left to place the cursor on the word "Install"
  7. RET
  8. y RET

I'd like to think there's a less awkward way to do steps 4-8 (especially #5 and #6). I know about M-x package-install but I like to read the descriptions in the *Packages* buffer. Any tips?

  • You can use the command package-install it will prompt you with the list of installable packages from which you can select the desired package. The experience is even better if you use completing frameworks like ido or helm. Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 9:13
  • 2
    Just a beginner question: in step 6. wouldn't be enough Tab instead of down down C-e left?
    – manatwork
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 9:39

1 Answer 1

  1. There's package-install interactive command, which, as the name suggests, will install the package it will prompt you for.
  2. In case you don't know the name of the package exactly, you can still install one in less steps. In the buffer with available packages press i on the package you want to install, and then x to process all packages marked for install.

In general, you can discover what functions are available in any Emacs mode by pressing C-h m (which will give you the description of the mode, typically with the most often used commands and keybindings), or C-h b listing all available keybindings. In the later case, searching the keybindings using the mode name may reveal more functionality.

  • Yes! Your point #2 is the exact thing I was looking for. Thank you, and thanks for the general tip too :) Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 10:30

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